Difference between pre-workout and protein powder

There are so many different sports supplements out there it can be easy to get confused with which one does what and which is useful for your training. You may not know it, but there is a difference between pre-workout and protein powder and knowing the difference means knowing which one you should be taking, if not both.

First things first, before we explain the difference between the two, you need to know exactly what both supplements do and their benefits on the body.

Difference between pre-workout and protein powder

What is pre-workout?

Pre-workout is a supplement that helps to improve your workout and boost your energy levels so that you can train harder. Normally, pre-workout is made of four key ingredients, caffeine, Creatine, nitric oxide and beta alanine. All four of these ingredients serve different purposes, however the overall goal is to increase energy, improve power and boost your tolerance against fatigue.

Different brands produce different types of pre-workout, in a variety of flavours, however they are all created to do the same thing. Often you take pre-workout before training, and the effects of the supplement last from 1-2 ½ hours, dependent on varying factors.

What is protein powder?

Protein powder on the other hand is usually taken after a workout and is used to help the muscles re-build and recover after a training session. It comes in various forms, such as vegan and pea protein, alternatively the most common type is whey, which is a by-product of dairy production.

Protein is one of three essential macronutrients that the body needs, along with carbohydrates and fats. Without enough protein when training, muscle depletion will occur as it is necessary for building muscle and repairing tissue. When you do a heavy session, micro-tears occur in the muscle fibres and protein helps to restore these. As well as this, protein helps to make enzymes and regulate your hormones. Protein powder comes in many flavours and can be mixed with water, milk forms or made with smoothies.

What’s the difference between pre-workout and protein powder?

There isn’t just one difference between pre-workout and protein powder, but several of them. One of the main variations are their uses. Pre-workout has been created to give you more energy during your workout, whereas protein powder is used as a form of muscle recovery post-workout. Likewise, this means another stark difference between the two is when you take them. Pre-workout is consumed right before a workout, and often you would supplement with protein powder within an hour post-training.

Furthermore, as well as there being a difference in the nutrient content, there is also a calorific difference too. Protein powder often has more calories than pre-workout because it comes from a food source, but pre-workout is formed from different micronutrients as opposed to food products.

Finally, the main thing to note when it comes to these supplements is that it is usually okay to use the two together as a supplement to your training. One will not cancel the other out as they both have different advantages that will help to boost your workouts and then recovery as efficiently as possible afterwards.

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